The inquest into the death of Jastine Valdez has returned a verdict of unlawful killing after an emotional day for her parents in Dublin Coroner's court.

Jastine's parents said she was "beautiful inside and out" and their "tears will never stop".

In a statement read on their behalf after the verdict, they said they will never know what happened and "will never understand how such evil can exist in the world".

They said their grief will never pass saying "Jastine was our life and when she was taken away our world ended".

The 24-year-old student was abducted in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow, on Saturday 19 May 2018 by Mark Hennessy.

She had taken the 5.40pm bus from Bray to Enniskerry and arrived in Enniskerry village around 6pm.

She was abducted at 6.20pm.

The Coroner's Court today heard a statement from a woman who said she saw Ms Valdez being pushed into the boot of a dark coloured car that day.

Susan Forsyth said as she was overtaking the parked car she heard a woman screaming and a slapping sound.

She said she "felt something was terribly wrong" and pulled in to call 999.

Garrett Thompson said he was driving home from Bray with his daughter that evening when an SUV pulled out in front of him.

He said he could see a girl in the back of the Nissan Qashqai with a concerned look on her face but he could not make out if she was waving or trying to get their attention.

He called 999 when he got home after speaking about it to his wife because he had a bad feeling in his gut.


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Pain 'not eased' by death of Jastine's killer, says her mother


A statement was read on behalf of Nicola Hennessy, who said her husband Mark left the house at 5.25pm on 19 May saying he was going to get a bottle of wine, but never came home.

She failed to get in touch with Mark all evening but he did answer the phone at 8am the following morning and said he slept in his car at the seafront and would be home soon.

Christine Connolly was driving home from work on 20 May after seeing a media appeal for Mark Hennessy and the SUV when she spotted the Qashqai and followed it until gardaí arrived at the Cherrywood Industrial Estate.

Jastine's parents Teresita and Danilo Valdez were in the Coroner's Court for today's hearing.

In a statement read to the court, Teresita Valdez said she last saw her daughter at 7.35am on the day she was abducted.

She said she exchanged 63 messages with her daughter during the day, the last was at 4.20pm when Jastine said she was at the gym and would go to Bray to buy bread afterwards.

The inquest heard that Jastine died "not long after she was abducted".

Deputy State Pathologist Dr Linda Mulligan carried out the post-mortem examination and said the cause of death was asphyxia.

Dr Mulligan said a toxicology report showed low levels of cocaine had been ingested very recently.

A statement from Jastine's boyfriend, Joseph Squire, was read to the court in his absence.

In it he said they connected on the dating app Tinder in November 2017 and began dating.

He described her as always happy and "the most innocent person I've ever known".

He said she never did drugs and looked down on people who smoked.

Jastine's mother was visibly upset as the statements and evidence were being heard and the Coroner took a short break to allow them time to recover.